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The Law Society is governed by the Benchers (much like a Board of Directors) who are 17 lawyers elected by their colleagues (with regional representation) and four members of the public appointed by a Committee. Benchers meet regularly to formulate policy on matters related to the governance of the legal profession. Benchers, in conjunction with various committees such as the Executive Committee, the Accounts and Finance Committee, the Complaints Authorization Committee, the Insurance Committee and the Education Committee, work to protect the public interest in the delivery of quality legal services.

Lay Benchers are appointed by the Appointing Committee which is chaired by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Trial Division. Lay Benchers are eligible to serve a 4-year term, but may be reappointed upon the expiration of his or her term.

In addition to provincial concerns, Benchers also consider matters impacting upon the profession and the public nationally and internationally. As a member of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada (“the Federation”), a national organization of law societies throughout the country, the Law Society has access to a broader range of resources to assist it in carrying out its mandate. Matters of national importance may lead to the creation of and implementation of uniform best practices for Newfoundland lawyers and provide for a larger pool of precedent on which to draw when interpreting matters locally. It also ensures that mobility of lawyers between provinces is easier and more effective. All of this is of benefit to the profession and protects the public interest.

The following is a list of elected and appointed Benchers.

Elected Benchers



Eastern District:
Ann F Martin Suzanne M Orsborn John J Hogan, QC
Michael Ladha Ian S Patey,  Past President Lauren J Chafe
Scott Worsfold Valerie A Hynes Gladys H Dunne
Douglas W Wright Kimberley J Mackay Rodney J Zdebiak


Central District: Western District: Labrador District:
Renee L F Appleby James E Merrigan, QC Adrienne S Edmunds
Desmond Jagger Parsons Brenda P Duffy

Appointed Benchers

Ross Elliott Linda Harnett
Glenda Reid Allan Skanes